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© tomas popelka dreamstime.com Business | June 27, 2013

ALPS commences mass production of 'EC50A Series'

ALPS ELECTRIC EUROPE GmbH has developed the "EC50A Series" Ring Type Encoder suited for use in controls for car air conditioning and audio systems or major home appliances. Samples will be available from June 2013.
Dial-type devices have often been used in the past for car air conditioning and audio system controls. Even today, as new possibilities emerge for control of in-car systems using touch panels, dials realizing a sense of intuitive control are still being used in many automobile models. In fact, demand keeps rising as more cars, especially luxury models for the European market, incorporate devices on both the driver’s side and the front passenger’s side to allow independent temperature control.

These devices are often designed to enable embedding of a control switch or a small LCD in the center of the dial. But design freedom cannot be enhanced without widening the device’s inside diameter (central opening). Space around the control panel is limited, however, particularly as navigation systems are bigger than they used to be, creating a need for devices with as large an inner diameter as possible while retaining the same external dimensions.

ALPS has responded to these needs by developing the EC50A Series, the industry’s first 50mm ring type encoder. While the projected area of the product is 1.4 times bigger than the earlier EC40A Series (dimensions: 40.4 × 44.2 × 22mm (W×D×H), 25mm ring inside diameter), a large 37mm inside diameter has been created, providing a central opening around twice as large as the earlier product.

The large inside diameter of the ring allows installation of a switch, LEDs or a small LCD. The addition of the EC50A Series to the existing lineup contributes to greater freedom in design for the customer and enhanced designs for the overall cabin interior.

The EC50A Series also has a guide formed on the inner wall to reduce rattle when the customer attaches a knob. Furthermore, original mechanical design and precision processing technologies were applied to achieve a premium operating feel.

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